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Makeup tips for brunettes

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Best makeup colors for women with brown and black hair

When selecting your makeup, consider your skin tone, eye color, and of course, your hair color. Dark-haired women are among the most versatile when it comes to makeup colors because most shades complement their lovely dark locks.

"Regardless of skin color, brunettes can generally get away with more color on their face," says SheKnows beauty expert Nina Sutton. "On the eyes, brunettes with brown eyes look great in brown and violet tones. If you have black hair and blue eyes, try slate gray with charcoal liner and if you have brown hair/blue eyes, try golden brown with brown liner and mascara."

Use rich lip color

Most of the time, pale pink lipstick and blush don't flatter brunettes. Women with dark brown hair should play with richer colors of makeup instead. Tawny or spicy red lip color looks great on women with medium to dark brown hair. Coral or peach lip and cheek shades are terrific complements to light brown hair.

Experiment with eye makeup and blush colors

Put the emphasis on your eyes with highly-pigmented shadow, smudged eyeliner and two coats of dark brown mascara. Brunettes with brown eyes can use almost any color of eyeshadow. Green-eyed brunettes look awesome with purple shadow and charcoal eyeliner. Keep the rest of your face natural with barely-there cheek color and just a touch of lip gloss.

Nina advises, "On the cheeks and lips, brunettes look great in warm pinks, rosy browns and bronzers. A great look to try: Apply bronzer to the cheeks and up towards the eyes. Follow with a hint of warm pink blush on the apples of the cheeks. Reds need to be chosen carefully — brunettes should choose a blue-red; otherwise they can look clown-like. For anyone wearing red lipstick, a rule of thumb is light cheeks and eye makeup to offset the bold lip color."

As for eyebrows, they should be one to two shades lighter than hair color to soften the face, says Nina.

Consider your highlights

When selecting your cosmetics, consider not just your main hair color but also your highlights. Brunettes with true blond highlights can wear makeup with pink undertones better than brown-eyed girls with red highlights can.

If you have chocolate brown hair and a medium to dark complexion, select honey shades of cosmetics and experiment with metallics on the eyes. However if you are fair-skinned, avoid mauve lip or cheek color and silver eye makeup.


If you have dark hair, stick to richer colors of makeup with the spicy reds, peaches and corals in your lipstick and the deep eyeshadow tones for your eyes.

More makeup tips

Find more makeup tips by eye or hair color

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